On the occasion of the 125th anniversary of Fr. Sorin’s death, Oct. 31, 1893
There is a public good in having diverse postsecondary institutions. By “diverse,” I do not mean the widely-held meaning.
Here is the kind of diversity I mean:
• Wide panoply of “middle skills” offerings, apprenticeships
• For-profit and not-for-profit institutions
• Two-year and four-year institutions
• Commuter and residential schools
• Programs that cater to adult students, married students, working students
• Online and brick-and-mortar schools
• Institutions specializing in liberal arts (Great Books) or STEM or business or cybersecurity, theatre, music, etc.
• Institutions refusing federal support (e.g., Hillsdale)
• Work-study (pay-your-way) programs (e.g., Berea College)
• Institutions with a large percentage of graduate students or no graduate students
• Institutions with a reputation for teaching undergraduates
• “Research” universities
• Religiously-affiliated institutions
There has been a decline among these last-named colleges, colleges affiliated with a denomination -- and the strength of any such affiliation. This has been documented in such books as George M. Marsden, The Soul of the American University: From Protestant Establishment to Established Nonbelief (1994) and Rev. James T. Burtchaell, C.S.C., The Dying of the Light: The Disengagement of Colleges and Universities from Their Christian Churches (1998). It is a public good, however, that such institutions survive and thrive.
Notre Dame was founded in 1842 in remote northern Indiana by French missionaries of a religious order called Congregation of the Holy Cross (C.S.C.), led by Father Edward Sorin. The university celebrated the 175th year of its founding last year. (As part of that, there is a one-actor stage play: Sorin: A Notre Dame Story.) The University of Notre Dame continues to identify itself as a Catholic university. There is a public good in having Notre Dame maintain its Catholic identity. There is an even greater public interest in having a school not advertise itself as Catholic to the public, to prospective students and faculty and donors, and to parents, bishops and priests if it has chosen not to remain Catholic. (In 2010, Bishop Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington (Virginia) removed the Blessed Sacrament from Notre Dame Academy, Middleburg, Virginia, founded in 1965, insisting that it was no longer Catholic and that it should change its name. It became “Middleburg Academy.”) Is Notre Dame still Catholic?
Rev. Edward Sorin, C.S.C. (1814-1893) missionary from France, founder of the University of Notre Dame
The Foundational Documents of Notre Dame
According to Notre Dame’s 1967 “statutes,” there is a subset of 12 of the Trustees called “Fellows,” six of whom must be Holy Cross priests; the other six are lay. Section II: In Section V.E, the Statutes require the Fellows to maintain the Catholic identity of the university:
The Fellows of the University shall perform the duties of their office as follows:
The essential character of the University as a Catholic institution of higher learning shall at all times be maintained, it being the stated intention and desire of the present Fellows of the University that the University shall retain in perpetuity its identity as such an institution.
The school’s 1967 “Bylaws” require that the President of the University be a Holy Cross priest. Section II.2.
The Statutes also require a continuing relationship between Notre Dame and the Holy Cross Order, priests and brothers. Without limiting the affiliation, the Statutes, in Section F, specify “four specific areas,” and I quote two of them:
The University's operations shall be conducted in such manner as to make full use of the unique skills and dedication of the members of the Congregation of Holy Cross, United States Province of Priests and Brothers. Four specific traditional areas, inter alia, are noted here:
1. The intellectual life of the University should at all times be enlivened and sustained by a devotion to the twin disciplines of theology and philosophy. They are viewed as being central to the University's existence and function…
2. It is important that members of the Holy Cross Community be active in as many academic roles at the University as their talents and training permit. The very presence of priest-scholars can add immeasurably to the total endeavor of the University and to its essential Catholicity.
Priest-President John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
The current president of Notre Dame is Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. He has garnered a handful of degrees: bachelor’s and master’s in philosophy from Notre Dame, a doctorate in philosophy from Oxford, and a master of divinity (M.Div.) and a licentiate in sacred theology (STL) from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. He was elected to his post in 2005 for a standard five-year term, and was re-elected in 2010 and 2015.
Over the course of his 13-year tenure, despite his priesthood, despite his multiple degrees – in philosophy and theology, despite the public commitment “in perpetuity” the university has to its Catholic identity, despite pleas made by two bishops of the local diocese (the current Bishop Kevin Rhoades and the late Bishop John D’Arcy), Fr. Jenkins has had severe trouble in keeping Notre Dame Catholic. These troubles include:
• in his early years as president, allowing performances of the Vagina Monologues; first he encouraged people to discuss whether or not it should be performed; then he allowed performance, on condition that a more suitable play be written and performed, but that play was also morally objectionable; [The links to Sycamore Trust are links to its regular reports; this group consists of 17,000 alumni and friends of the university devoted to Notre Dame maintaining its Catholic identity];
• continuing to allow Marye [sic] Ann Fox to be a Trustee; although she had been elected a Trustee in 2000 under Fr. Jenkin’s predecessor, she was re-elected during his tenure, and given an honorary degree in 2008 she was a prominent supporter of embryonic stem cell “research;” she remained a Trustee until her term ended in 2011;
• inviting pro-abortion President Obama to receive an honorary degree and give a commencement address in 2009; countering objections, Fr. Jenkins argued that there would be a chance to dialogue about the issue of abortion; of course, this did not happen;
• allowing the university’s internet to provide pornography; when asked in 2011 why the university does not use a filter, the university responded that it relied on students (and presumably faculty and staff) to abide by the policy prohibiting the use of the university’s facilities to view porn,; as of this writing there is an online petition to use the filter;
• inviting Roxanne Martino, who had financially supported pro-abortion groups, to join the Board of Trustees in 2011; she resigned under outside pressure;
• allowing a culture to exist where a Trustee could go rogue; Katie Washington, the valedictorian of the Class of 2010, a Trustee, yet publicly supported the Obamacare Contraception Mandate and criticized the American bishops’ opposition to it, all the while Notre Dame itself had brought suit;
[Irish Rover is a student publication devoted to maintaining Notre Dame’s Catholic identity];
• as part of a decennial review of curriculum in 2015, allowing a faculty committee to study cutting in half the university’s requirement of six credit hours of theology for all students;
• standing by, if not encouraging, the silencing of a Notre Dame professor, also a Holy Cross priest, when he posted in 2015 his recommendations on how a student might obtain a Catholic education at Notre Dame; and
• honoring pro-abortion Vice President Biden in 2016 with the highest award of the university, the Laetare Medal; this is the same honor Mary Ann Glendon had declined in 2009 to protest Fr. Jenkins’ announcement to honor Obama.
For a devout Catholic, much less a Catholic priest, much less a Catholic priest trained in theology and philosophy, these decisions should be cut and dried.
There was no need for Fr. Jenkins to invite faculty or students to discuss these issues. There was no need for Fr. Jenkins to disobey his bishop. There was no need for Fr. Jenkins to wring his hands. These decisions did not concern academic freedom. They concerned the Catholic identity of the university to which he was bound to support by his office. No member of the public, no public official, no student, no faculty member, no donor, should be in the slight bit offended when Notre Dame adopts policies consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Fr. Jenkins and the Obamacare Contraception Mandate
Fr. Jenkins’ longest saga has been Notre Dame’s lawsuit (two lawsuits actually) over the “Contraception Mandate” of Obamacare which would require Notre Dame to provide for, or arrange for, contraception for faculty, staff and students. He has stepped on his own shoes more than once during this litigation, sending mixed signals to the courts and to the friends, alumni, and students of the university. Here is but one example: On February 24, 2014, at a school “townhall,” Fr. Jenkins responded to a question raised in light of a judge’s belief that Notre Dame was insincere. He replied, “Our complicity is not an evil so grave that we would compromise our conscience by going along. I don’t see this as a scandal because we are not giving out contraceptives.”
While a federal judge had grounds to regard the university’s conscientious objection to the Obamacare Contraception Mandate not to be conscientious, no one, to my knowledge, has ever questioned the sincerity of such plaintiffs in these cases as Hobby Lobby or the Little Sisters of the Poor. A barbershop quartet sang lyrics in the The Music Man (1962): “Where is the sin in ‘sincere’?” There is indeed no sin in “sincere,” but there is a sin in “insincere.”
Fr. Jenkins has made more than one public announcement on what would and would not be covered in the way of contraceptives and abortifacients. His most recent, and it is one critics like me hope will not be his last, was in a letter to the university community dated February 7, 2018. In this letter, Fr. Jenkins chose to provide “simple contraceptives,” not Plan B or ella or abortions. (In addition to changing his mind many times, he also hides the ball, so that his detailed decisions following the February 7 letter only became known in May of 2018 when the following were posted online: FAQs for employees, FAQs for students, and a formulary of drugs and devices to be covered.)
The February 7 letter contains this language:
"A tension exists between establishing policies in accord with Catholic teaching and respecting the religious traditions and decisions of the many members of our community. That tension is particularly pronounced in the area of health care, where the University recognizes its responsibility, grounded in its Catholic mission, to provide health insurance to employees, their families and many students, and most of those covered have no financially feasible alternative but to rely on the University for such coverage…”
Let’s parse this, in reverse order.
“no financially feasible alternative”
In this statement, Fr. Jenkins ignored the information made publicly widespread in the wake of Sandra Flake’s lawsuit against Georgetown University Law Center, namely, that contraceptives are easily accessible and cheap. Furthermore, Fr. Jenkins implicitly accepted the non-Catholic view that sex outside marriage is, what the law calls, a “necessary” like food, water, shelter.
“the University recognizes its responsibility, grounded in its Catholic mission, to provide health insurance to employees, their families and many students”
I accept that providing health coverage to faculty, staff and students, is grounded in the university’s Catholic mission. But that same Catholic mission requires that the university provide coverage consistent with Catholic teaching.
“A tension exists between establishing policies in accord with Catholic teaching and respecting the religious traditions and decisions of the many members of our community”
One should readily expect that there would be tensions resulting from non-Catholic and non-observant Catholic faculty, staff and students not given to following Catholic teaching. But a Catholic university should not resolve that tension by acting contrary to Catholic teaching. Moreover, it is morally wrong for a Catholic institution to enable immoral behavior. More on this below.
As a sop to Notre Dame’s Catholic identity, Fr. Jenkins wrote in another part of his February 7 letter that Notre Dame “will provide to all who sign up for health care benefits a statement of the Catholic teaching on contraceptives, so that the Church’s teaching is clearly presented.”
My first observation is that Fr. Jenkins implies that the Catholic teaching is not currently being provided to faculty, staff and students. This is an alarming admission when more and more faculty are not Catholic, and when more and more of the students, even if Catholic, did not attend Catholic high schools and were not catechized in their schools or parishes. Moreover, this subject is critical at this stage in the lives of the students for their growth in wisdom and grace, their moral development, and their vocations to matrimony.
Second, what precisely is the Catholic teaching on contraceptives which Fr. Jenkins has promised would be “clearly presented”? The facile answer, and one even non-Catholics know, is: “No contraceptives.” But let us be more precise. St. Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical on this subject, known by its Latin Humanae vitae (“On Human Life”), prohibits contraceptives by married persons. The issue presented to Paul VI was the use of contraceptives by married persons. There was no question then, nor should there be now, that unmarried persons could use contraceptives morally because they would be engaging in fornication (need I add that that is gravely wrong?).
Fr. Jenkins’ February 7 letter mentions the controversy engendered by Humnae vitae. It is as though that controversy gives him leeway in not implementing the teaching. In any case, let us be clear about this: Those people, including many priests and theologians, who dissented in 1968 to Humanae vitae, argued for the use of contraceptives, to a degree allowed by conscience, by married persons. So, even if Fr. Jenkins’ is a dissenter to Humanae vitae, it would mean he would provide contraceptives to married faculty, married staff, and married students, not to all faculty, staff and students without regard to their marital status. Fr. Jenkins implicitly recognized this distinction in the FAQs in which it is stated that the university will allow campus facilities to provide contraceptives to faculty, staff, and graduate students, large numbers of whom are presumably married, but requiring undergraduates, large numbers of whom are unmarried, to obtain them only off campus.
I think it worthwhile here to note that, Paul VI specifically addressed several groups of people in Humanae vitae: scientists, Christian couples, doctors and nurses, bishops, and priests. This is what he wrote to Fr. Jenkins and the other priests in the administration and faculty of Notre Dame:
28. And now, beloved sons, you who are priests, you who in virtue of your sacred office act as counselors and spiritual leaders both of individual men and women and of families—We turn to you filled with great confidence. For it is your principal duty—We are speaking especially to you who teach moral theology—to spell out clearly and completely the Church's teaching on marriage. In the performance of your ministry you must be the first to give an example of that sincere obedience, inward as well as outward, which is due to the magisterium of the Church. For, as you know, the pastors of the Church enjoy a special light of the Holy Spirit in teaching the truth. And this, rather than the arguments they put forward, is why you are bound to such obedience. Nor will it escape you that if men’s peace of soul and the unity of the Christian people are to be preserved, then it is of the utmost importance that in moral as well as in dogmatic theology all should obey the magisterium of the Church and should speak as with one voice. Therefore We make Our own the anxious words of the great Apostle Paul and with all Our heart We renew Our appeal to you: “I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.” (boldface added).
When Fr. Jenkins was ordained in 1983, Humanae vitae was 15 years old. The election of St. John Paul II in 1978 gave publicity to his book Love and Responsibility published in Polish in 1960 when he was an auxiliary bishop, and in English in 1981. It was written consistent with the teaching later espoused in Humanae vitae. So, Fr. Jenkins could be no stranger to this teaching when he committed to it on the day of his ordination.
It is wholly insufficient for Fr. Jenkins to provide the Church’s “teaching on contraceptives” when someone signs up for university health benefits. As boldfaced in this paragraph by Paul VI, and as stated throughout the encyclical, the teaching is about marriage, married love, responsible parenthood, virtue, sacrificial love. Fr. Jenkins cannot provide the Church’s teaching on contraceptives without providing its teaching on marriage. When and how will Fr. Jenkins ensure that all students whose souls are under his care receive all of this teaching? The very reason a priest is required to be a president of Notre Dame is to ensure that he serves not only as an administrator but as a pastor of souls.
In his February 7 letter to the Notre Dame community, Fr. Jenkins wrote of “respecting the religious traditions and decisions of the many members of our community.” What should be the right relationship between a Catholic priest-president of a Catholic university and the non-Catholic faculty, staff and students?
Notre Dame Law Professor Gerald Bradley has written:
The grave and potentially disastrous error in Fr. Jenkins’s reasoning is that nothing in it has the slightest tendency to morally justify helping others—even people we respect deeply—to do what is morally wrong, even if they happen to believe otherwise. Our moral duty to respect others’ choices does not have anything to do with giving them the means to do evil…
* * *
[O]ne should not respect another’s specific immoral choice at all. Everyone’s immoral choices should be regretted, and their repetition discouraged, and their occurrences criticized appropriately.
Gerald V. Bradley, “Notre Dame Swallows the Pill,” Public Discourse, Feb. 8, 2018, (emphasis in original).
I compare Fr. Jenkins’ action to that of Roman Emperors Valens, Valentinian II and Gratian, each of them Christian, who, in the Fourth Century, used taxes to repair a pagan temple near Rome’s harbor. Why? Because they thought people should be able to worship their gods. They were enablers and forced taxpayers to enable.
I also compare Fr. Jenkins’ action to that of King Solomon. The First Book of Kings (11:1-11) makes this report:
King Solomon loved many foreign wives…from nations of which the Lord had said to the Israelites: You shall not join with them and they shall not join with you, lest they turn your hearts to their gods…
When Solomon was old, his wives had turned his heart to follow other gods, and his heart was not entirely with the Lord…Solomon built a high place to [one god and to another] on the mountain opposite Jerusalem. He did the same for all his foreign wives who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods…
So the Lord said to Solomon: Since this is what you want, and you have not kept my covenant and the statutes which I enjoined on you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you…
Putting aside the fact that Solomon himself had turned away from the Lord and had taken foreign wives, he not only “allowed” his wives to worship other gods, he aided/abetted/enabled them to do so by constructing high places (altars) to their gods. The analogy: Fr. Jenkins could allow non-Catholic (and non-observant Catholic) faculty, staff and students to exercise their consciences and religions. They were and are free to go off campus and purchase contraceptives – without insurance coverage from the university. But instead he aided/abetted/enabled them by providing this health “benefit.”
Fr. Jenkins undoubtedly has high expectations for the students’ academics and careers. He must also adopt high expectations for their moral lives, their future marital lives.
The Peers of Notre Dame
Notre Dame consistently compares and contrasts itself to higher echelon collegiate football programs (e.g., Stanford, Navy), and hockey programs, and women’s soccer programs, etc. It does the same with respect to “research” institutions of higher education. It deems these its “peers.” Let me suggest that Notre Dame Fellows publicly identify Catholic institutions of higher education that it would deem stellar in their Catholicity so that Notre Dame can compare and contrast itself to them in their common Catholic identity and mission. These colleges could be small. They could have no intercollegiate sports. They could have no graduate students or only graduate students. They could be outside the United States—in France, Germany, the UK, Italy, Africa, the Philippines, and more. They might have, or not have, a law school, a medical school, a computer science major. They could have no endowment or a very small one. They could receive no federal grants for research. But they would be Catholic.
The peers might well include some or all of the other colleges, inside or outside the United States, administered by the Holy Cross Order, including St. Edwards, Austin; University of Portland; King’s College, Wilkes-Barre; Stonehill College, Massachusetts; two in Bangladesh and one in India. But the peers in Catholic identity and mission must go beyond this group to schools operated by Jesuits, Franciscans, Marists, Dominicans, and more.
Let me suggest further that a peer could be one that is religiously affiliated but not Catholic. I am thinking of Brigham Young University (BYU). No one doubts it is Mormon (LDS: Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints). But what makes it Mormon, and unapologetically so? How can Notre Dame be as Catholic as BYU is Mormon?
At the same time, Notre Dame might well desire to surpass these would-be peers and aspire to be peerless, that is, without any peer, in its Catholicity. If you’re on a quest, as an individual or as an institution, if you’re on a mission – do you look to peers? Did Fr. Sorin look to other colleges to be like them, or to surpass them? Did the following look to their peers? Apostle Paul, St. Francis Xavier, Ernest Shackleton, Neil Armstrong, Thomas Edison, Bill Gates, Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, Columbus? We each have a unique vocation from God. Does Notre Dame, too?
I am reminded here of the words spoken by Pope John Paul II at Castel Gandolfo on August 25, 1981:
"Do not be afraid. Do not be satisfied with mediocrity. Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." (Abba Pater, track 2 (1999)).
We could speculate about what’s at play in Fr. Jenkins’ decision-making: accommodating, inclusive, passive-aggressive, resistance to authority, secret dissenter to Humanae vitae, not wanting to impose his beliefs on others. With all his degrees, was he over-thinking all this? Is he afraid of Notre Dame being perceived by prospective students, faculty, donors, as being too Catholic?
Let me provide a personal story in this regard. I chose to attend Notre Dame precisely because it was Catholic. Yet, a couple months into my freshman year, I approached a Holy Cross priest, a member of the faculty who was living in my residence. I sat is his room and told him I was thinking I’d made a mistake because Notre Dame was too Catholic, that it was too insular, that I wasn’t going to be exposed to the rest of the world. I don’t remember how he responded. I know he did not criticize me. I came away thinking I was pretty stupid to raise this question with a Holy Cross priest who was a member of the faculty. What on earth did I expect him to say? That I was right? I think I wanted to hear him articulate what I knew to be true. That conversation reminded me of why I had chosen Notre Dame and I got back on course. Since that conversation, I have never thought that Notre Dame was too Catholic. (And it was the first conversation in a lifelong friendship.)
A Catholic individual or institution cannot be too Catholic. Can a Christian have too much faith? Be too Christian? Be too close to Christ? Can you be too good at playing football? Can you be too good a scientist? Can you be too good a son or daughter? Can you be too good at being a parent? Can you be too good a priest? To ask these questions is to answer them. Notre Dame must indeed be hot, not lukewarm, in the Faith. Jesus said in the Book of Revelation: “Because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” (3:16) Let zeal for His house consume Fr. Jenkins and the other Fellows of Notre Dame! (Ps. 69:9; John 2:17)
How Notre Dame’s Catholicity Might Manifest Itself
Let’s look, briefly, at some of the areas in which Notre Dame could demonstrate its Catholicity:
At minimum, theology and philosophy must be included as the Statutes of the university dictate. I would ask Notre Dame, however, to double its requirements for theology and philosophy and return to the four courses in theology and four courses in philosophy it used to require. The content of the courses in theology must always be Catholic theology. (Courses on world religions or the sociology of religion would not count.) I want the readers to know that these requirements in theology and philosophy have never been limited to students in the humanities; the engineers and biologists and pre-med and business majors also must take them.
Where else, and how else, in the curriculum would Catholicity be manifest? I am told that the College of Business and the Law School have curricula which show appreciation for Catholic thought.
If the university is Catholic, it will attract Catholic students. I don’t see a need for a quota. But what are the Catholic-inspired principles for choosing to offer admission?
What are the Catholic-inspired principles for setting tuition?
As the Sycamore Trust has consistently argued, there needs to be a critical mass of faculty who are Catholic.The university’s Mission Statement reads:
“The Catholic identity of the University depends upon, and is nurtured by, the continuing presence of a predominant number of Catholic intellectuals on the faculty.”
In 1999, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued “The Application for Ex Corde Ecclesiae for the United States.” The document Ex Corde Ecclesiae had been issued by Pope John Paul II in 1990. The Bishops’ Application stated, in Art. 4, para. 4: “[T]he university should strive to recruit and appoint Catholics as professors so that, to the extent possible, those committed to the witness of the faith will constitute a majority of the faculty. All professors are expected to be aware of and committed to the Catholic mission and identity of their institutions…All professors are expected to exhibit not only academic competence and good character but also respect for Catholic doctrine…”
Yet, Notre Dame’s Faculty Senate rejected this in 2008: “The University should not compromise its academic aspirations in its efforts to maintain its Catholic identity.” Moreover, there are faculty who are anti-Catholic. They should not bite the hand that feeds them.
In 2012, Fr. Jenkins created the Office of Mission Engagement and Church Affairs. One of its goals deals with faculty hiring:
Notre Dame has committed itself to recruiting and hiring faculty and staff who have, “a respect for the objectives of Notre Dame and a willingness to enter into the conversation that gives it life and character” (University Mission Statement). The Office of Mission Engagement and Church Affairs works across the University in order to strengthen faculty and staff understanding of and appreciation for Notre Dame’s Catholic and Holy Cross mission…
There is nothing on this webpage about any success in such recruiting. Let me add the axiom from business: what gets measured gets managed. So, if no questions are asked, no statistics are kept, there is no way of knowing if there is success or failure.
How Female and Male Students Relate
Notre Dame has high academic expectations for students. It should have high expectations for their moral life, their future marital life. Let’s consider this. You may have seen campaigns with ads such as “Friends don’t let friends do drugs,” and “Friends don’t let drunk friends drive.” I suggest the following: “Friends don’t have sex outside marriage.”
I repeat here what I wrote above: When and how will Fr. Jenkins ensure that all students whose souls are under his care receive all of the Catholic teaching on marriage? Inside and outside the classroom.
Relationship with Local Bishop
Is there a good relationship between the university, especially its priest-president, and the local bishop? Has there been adherence to the Magisterium, including the requirement that professors of theology to apply for a mandatum from the bishop. See John Paul II’s Ex Corde Ecclesiae (1990) and the 1999 U.S. Catholic Bishops “Application.”
Notre Dame was Catholic before its first football game (1887). Notre Dame was Catholic before it rebuilt its Main Building and placed the statue of Mary atop its Golden Dome (1879), before the Grotto was built (1896), before its alma mater, Notre Dame Our Mother, was composed (1931, for Knute Rockne’s funeral), before Ivan Mestrovic (1883-1962) sculpted Jesus and the Samaritan Woman (1957; placed in a prominent place on campus (1985)), and before the “Touchdown” Jesus mosaic appeared on Hesburgh Memorial Library (1963). Notre Dame’s Catholic identity did not and does not depend on such things. The question is: If those things were no longer on the scene, and we were left with Fr. Jenkins as president and the current Notre Dame Fellows, would Notre Dame be Catholic?
St. Paul gave a warning and asked a question of great importance to the future of Notre Dame. His warning is from his farewell to the Ephesian Church:
"Even from your own number, men will rise up and distort the truth to draw away disciples after them. Therefore be alert and remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears." (Acts 20:30-31)
And his question was to the Galatian Church:
"You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?" (Gal. 5:7).
Spero News columnist James Thunder is an attorney who practices in the Washington DC metropolitan area.